A True War Story In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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The chapter “How to Tell a True War Story” in the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien main focus is that in war stories, not everything is accurately told or explained. But even with this, the feelings of the soldiers can still be completely true. A surreal story is when a story is exaggerated or is not completely true, to express the true feelings that went on in the story. On pages 74 to 76, the narrator tells about an incident with a baby VC water buffalo and the soldier Rat Kiley . At first Rat Kiley took care of the animal by trying to feed it and being kind to it, but the buffalo would not eat any of the C rations. He started torturing the baby water buffalo until it was nearly dead. He did not give any remorse and was not hesitant …show more content…

Although the torture of the baby VC water buffalo probably never happened, the feelings of Rat Kiley could still be easily understood and recognized by the reader. His intentions was to make the buffalo physically suffer from the pain of bullets. Kiley, “shot it through the right front knee… shot off an ear...shot it twice in the flanks,” (75). He did not go for any of the major kill shots because he wanted to prolong the pain of the animal. This can be compared to Rat Kiley and the internal pain that the reader can infer he is suffering. Everyday he has to see all the horrors that soldiers go through in a war. His emotions and experiences are changing his personality to be barbaric at times, but he is not completely lost to his feelings because of the guilt he felt when the baby animal was nearly dead. When Rat Kiley runs away, the narrator notes, “it was still alive, though just barely, just in the eyes,” (76). This can relate to any soldier, that you can still be living and breathing, but your heart and soul can be dead and lost from all the tragic events and experiences in war. The narrator makes this story unbelievable to the part with torturing the baby buffalo, but the feelings and why Rat Kiley tried to kill the buffalo is easily

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